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Research Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 456 - 460

Judicial Approaches in Balancing Freedom of Speech and Contempt of Court in Malaysia

A. Vijayalakshmi Venugopal and K.H. Hassan    

Abstract: Freedom of speech is guaranteed under Malaysian Constitution, although such freedom is not absolutely un-curtailed. It is subject to certain limitations such as on grounds of national security, public peace or morality. One limitation of freedom of speech that is outside the limitations provided in the constitution is contempt of court. Contempt of court is a power entrusted to every court by statute or part of the inherent jurisdiction of the court. This power extends to the courts hearing and even initiating contempt actions, recognising forms of contempt, ensuring proper compliance with rules of procedure applicable to contempt proceedings and if appropriate, punishing those who offend these standards. These principles are contained in various statutes and even more numerous cases. This study adopts a doctrinal method analysis on contempt of court in Malaysia. It examines the judicial approaches adopted by Malaysian courts in balancing freedom of speech and offences related to contempt of court.

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